NHS England and NHS Digital have developed a new app, which will be launched in December 2018. The app is intended as a safe and secure way for patients to access general practice.
The app will include functionality to manage regular activities and preferences, including:
- making GP appointments
- ordering repeat prescriptions
- managing long-term conditions
- accessing 111 online for urgent medical queries
- managing data-sharing settings
- opting in or out of organ donation
- stating preferences with respect to end‑of‑life care.
Matthew Swindells, NHS England National Director of Operations and Information, said:
‘The new app will put the NHS into the pocket of everyone in England but it is just one step on the journey. We are also developing an NHS Apps Library and putting free NHS wifi in GP surgeries and hospitals.’
Testing for the app is expected to begin in September 2018 before it is made available for download on Android and Apple devices in December.
The chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, welcomed the app as a ‘significant and constructive step forward in the way care is managed’, but added that ‘adequate safeguards must be in place to ensure the utmost protection of patients’ personal data’.